Tuesday, September 30, 2008
S. needs to compile a playlist of family-friendly songs for the DJ at the Cinderella Ball. "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman is the centerpiece of the evening and will be played at least twice to allow men with multiple daughters to dance with each one. Think Butterfly Kisses, It's a Wonderful World, My Father's Eyes, etc. Please post your suggestions on the comment page. She has 4 HOURS of air time to fill!
Other needful things: A number of corporate sponsorships have been received and more are needed in order to provide reduced-cost tickets for families who would benefit from them and maximize the benefit to Shaohannah's Hope.
Also, gently-used formal dresses could be donated to outfit some of these princesses. Again, post on the comment page if you wish to help! Thank You!!
Little girls and big girls are all a-twitter and we're getting word that a number of daddies are sharpening their (in some cases non-existent) dancing skills.
And this will bless your heart: S. and I did our very best to be sensitive about the fact that a number of girls in our midst do not have a Daddy who is willing or able to attend the Ball. Invitations were sent to those families ahead of all of the others when possible and with a note that reads:
Monday, September 22, 2008
While the kids were all in the concert hall listening to Vota, I did the boldest thing I've done, well, this week: I stalked an official-looking photographer guy and asked him if there was anyway I could go back stage and get a picture with the Tenth Avenue North guys for my blog without the kids knowing so I could blow their minds when I posted it. That official looking guy took me to an un-official looking guy who totally "got" what I was trying to pull off. I thought there might be some kind of security checkpoints, but apparently they don't consider you a threat if you look old enough to be the mother of the band members. So I found my way through a labyrinth of hallways and quickly explained my mission to Mike, Jeff, and Jason. They graciously smiled for the picture and didn't even act like I was weird. So kind.
I am a terrrible liar, so at intermission when the kids asked where I had been I non-chalantly said, "Oh, you know, just hanging out backstage with the band." Tee hee hee.
I hope I embarrass my kids just enough to be fun, but not too much; and as someone at the merch table at the concert pointed out, I hope I don't spoil the image of Tenth Avenue North...I'm not exactly in their demographic! Great guys, good music, and fantastic lyrics! Oh, and they need a bus. Let's all pray for a cheap bus.
neat-o picture frame
victorian lady's capelet
His biggest die-hard fan tried to stay awake for the big game.
Sorting buttons during breaks. The shadow is that of his sister, snapping other shots of the game for me.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Our overnight guests gave their help in preparing the invitations for post. Only 550 to go!
Friday, September 12, 2008
I don't know how I came to turn down the alley by the news agency once, but it was down that alley that I discovered the Sonshine Thrift Shop and sweet Mildred. In an old storefront with deep bay windows Mildred displayed rows of shoes and knick-knacks accented with seasonal decorations. The store itself smelled of stale laundry detergent and the kerosene heater that kept her warm in chilly weather. The racks were filled to capacity and Mildred knew were each item was, because she had stocked most of the donations of used items which people regularly left on the front step.
Mildred always took an interest in the children and knew that I had an affinity for vintage fabrics and antiques. Whenever we stopped she had recommendations for us from among her inventory. Her work was done do benefit a charity for terminally ill children. It seems to me that she made reference to having lost a child herself, and I regret that I can't remember more details on that little one.
Most of Mildred's life was centered in that small town, providing for others in one way or another in a very quiet way. As more babies came along and we moved a bit further outside of town, my visits became less frequent, but I was always certain that when I did make a point to stop in, Mildred would be there. She was a fixture.
This past spring I was procrastinating in getting ready for a trip to Ireland and decided to rebel against the urgency of my to-do list and take a detour to see Mildred. I think it was the only time I had been in sans children. We had our longest conversation, about my life and hers. At 93, she needed help from a neighbor to get to the shop in the morning. She tended the shop until he returned at the end of the day to take her home. The merchandise was a little less organized than in the past, but she pointed the way for me to find some fabric that she thought I would like.
I left her that day with some sewing notions and vintage patterns and a recipe for chocolate eclair cake and a feeling that I had just revisited a much simpler time in my life. I was refreshed and ready to prepare for a blessed but hectic itinerary overseas. I thanked my Lord for the dear faithful ladies who are my heroes, quietly doing good and serving selflessly for years and years. So many of them have gone on now, but I still have imagined conversations with Alice, Violet, Elsie, Lou-Lou, Millie, and Mildred, giving them updates and trying to guess what their advice to me would be in the new seasons of my life.
Yesterday I took another turn down the alley and gasped when I saw the empty storefront with the "For Rent" sign in the window. A quick drive to Mildred's house and a conversation with her neighbor confirmed that she was truly gone. Her husband went on ahead of her years ago and she has no descendants.
An ache in my heart reminded me that a faithful friend, that is, a friend with faith, is invaluable. It takes a long time to grow old friends and seasoned saints must persevere through many trials to achieve the kind of gentle spirit that I have admired in these dear ones, my Titus 2 women.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The Banker brought home a vintage 1961 issue of The New Jersey State Safe Deposit Association quarterly magazine The Time Lock. Some of the old ads are so charming. One article in particular was so politically incorrect that it is just adorable. At the same time it reveals some timeless insights. Can you even imagine this getting published today? Read On:
Why Are Gals Suited To Banking Careers?
by Joy Miller
AP Women's editor
Since it's generously conceded women control about 70% of the nation's wealth, it seems only fair that a majority of bank employees should be women too.
They would take a personal interest, so to speak.
Not too long ago banks wouldn't hire women. As recently as 1940, men outnumbered their COMELY COLLEAGUES in the banking business three to one. But word finally got around that WOMEN AND WAMPUM HAVE A NATURAL AFFINITY, and now it's ladies, two to one.
THE GIRLS are good standing in the higher circles. too. There are 160 LADY bank presidents across the country, and one in ten bank executives is a woman.
There's no doubt banking is now a woman's field. And it has no greater champion than Mona Reid Brice...of National Bank of Commerce...she thinks women are admirably suited for banking today because they are easier socially and have more equanimity in surprise situations(there are other surprise situations in a bank than holdups).
"Independent studies have shown," Mrs. Brice points out with pride, "that women have more patience, and a penchant for detail, deductive reasoning and analysis. That's why banks are using more use of women. A sympathetic, attractive can explain to a man, for example, just why his bank book doesn't balance and at the same time keep him from feeling stupid."
By the way, "Equinimity in surprise situations" and social ease? Those sound like the characteristics of a great V.P. candidate. Go Sarah.
D. is required to where a necktie now that he is in high school, too. This first-day-of-school shot gets me because as much I stare at it all I can see is this pair as preschoolers with their character backpacks, setting out for our homeschool co-op. I just blinked and THIS happened!
Is there anything much more priceless than a great Dad?
Monday, September 8, 2008
Our boys have been friends with the J's two boys for years and they all enjoy being BOYS. Weapons and extreme sports usually seem to get worked into their conversations. Much testosterone among them.
So it seemed like the perfect idea to take the three eldest; our D. and their two, over to the motorcart track for some racing of their own. These are no kiddie cars, mind you, they can top 50mph. My dear friend Mrs. J. and I admired our fine young men in their jumpsuits and insisted upon a photo shoot before they headed out to the track.
I am already hearing aspirations of employment and far-flung mission trips for next year. Couple that with my own penchant for road trips and other explorations, and my suspicion that this may be our last homey summer for a while. So glad that my man is more of a homebody and gives me a sense of being anchored.
I think I am allergic to changes of season, both figuratively and literally. I'm comforted by the observation that I perennially label my current season as my favorite. It's just the change itself that I loathe; the consciousness of it I guess. Once the in-between times have passed I settle in just fine and admire the unchangingness of the One I worship.
That is what I will ponder perhaps tomorrow as I hose off the baby pool one last time and clip back the irises.